Personality features in subjective cognitive impairment and mild cognitive impairment--early indicators of dementia?

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2009;28(6):528-35. doi: 10.1159/000255104. Epub 2009 Dec 10.


Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to investigate patterns of personality in patients with subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), compared to healthy controls.

Methods: We assessed24 patients with SCI, 35 patients with MCI and 26 healthy controls with the self-report questionnaire Swedish Universities Scales of Personality measuring aspects of neuroticism/anxiety proneness, extraversion, and aggression-hostility.

Results: Patients with SCI and MCI showed significantly more Somatic Trait Anxiety, Psychic Trait Anxiety and Stress Susceptibility than healthy controls. Moreover, there was a significant increase in Detachment in patients with MCI and a significant decrease in Adventure Seeking in patients with SCI, relative to healthy controls.

Conclusions: Patients with SCI and MCI presented specific patterns of personality alterations with higher scores in traits related to anxiety proneness and aggression-hostility and lower in traits of extraversion. In most subscales differences followed a sequential pattern with gradually increasing scores from healthy controls, to patients with SCI and further to MCI. The groups differed in amount and type of symptoms, suggesting that patterns of personality may be related to degree of cognitive impairment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aggression / physiology
  • Aging / physiology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Cognition Disorders / pathology
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology*
  • Dementia / pathology
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Education
  • Extraversion, Psychological
  • Female
  • Hostility
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Personality*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology